Desert Mariposa Lily

Common Names:
Desert Mariposa Lily, Red Mariposa
Scientific name:
Calochortus kennedyi var. kennedyi
Subspecies | Variants:
Calochortus kennedyi var. munzii, Calochortus kennedyi var. kennedyi
Elevation range:
2,000-6,500
Flowering Months:
March, April, May, June
Height | Length:
4-8 in.
Life Cycle | Lifeform:
Perennial
State Occurrences:
Desert region:
Mojave, Sonoran

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Desert Mariposa Lily in the desert

Calochortus kennedyi is a perennial herb with three orange-red rounded petals. The anthers (male) are purple and 3-part stigma (female) is orange. Fringed hairs encircle the nectary. Pipes Canyon, CA | May 2010   

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Desert Mariposa Lily in the desert

Calochortus kennedyi flower (middle) and fleshy striped fruit (left). Pipes Canyon | May 24, 2010  

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Desert Mariposa Lily in the desert

Calochortus kennedyi has gray-green hairless ascending stem with 3-6 flowers. Pipes Canyon | May 2009   

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Desert Mariposa Lily in the desert

Calochortus kennedyi single curly, embryonic leaf precedes the appearance of stem and flowering parts. Pipes Canyon, CA | March 2008   

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Desert Mariposa Lily in the desert

Calochortus kennedyi finds stability among the dead leaves of a Mojave Yucca. Pipes Canyon, CA | May 9, 2010  

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Desert Mariposa Lily in the desert

Calochortus kennedyi takes shelter in a downed Joshua tree. Pipes Canyon | May 19, 2010  

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Desert Mariposa Lily in the desert

Calochortus kennedyi with beetle pollinator. Pipes Canyon | May 20, 2010  

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Desert Mariposa Lily in the desert

Calochortus kennedyi blooms are a striking orange color against the muted tones of the desert floor. Pipes Canyon, CA | May 24, 2010